BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies

Course Points
Course Duration
4 Years
Course Level
Level 8
Course Places
25 Places

Course Summary

This programme will nurture student’s personal, social and professional development with a view to developing a highly competent professional educator committed to providing high-quality care and education services for babies, toddlers, young children and their families based on the contemporary principles of best practice as determined by Aistear and Siolta.

Every child in Ireland is now entitled to a free preschool place for three hours every day from the age of 3 years until they start primary school. That’s almost 130,000 children. Well qualified early childhood professional educators are needed to provide these children with high-quality care and education experiences and to meet policy and legislative demands.

The programme provides a professional qualification in Early Childhood Studies which will enable the graduate educator to work in a variety of early years settings. Play is seen as central to young children’s’ development, and theory and practice are combined to encourage a critical, reflective practitioner.

The programme involves the study of related disciplines of early years’ care, education, psychology, sociology, law, creative play, interactions, social policy, research and health and welfare for children aged 0-6 years.

Work placement is an integral part of each stage with a Professional Practice Placement in each of the four years which provides students with an opportunity to learn from experience through supervised practice. Experiential learning in this way provides an opportunity for students to engage in reflective practice and enrich personal and professional development.

YEAR 1 - Semester 1:

YEAR 1 - Semester 2:

YEAR 2 - Semester 1:

YEAR 2 - Semester 2:

YEAR 3 - Semester 1:

YEAR 3 - Semester 2:

YEAR 4 - Semester 1:

YEAR 4 - Semester 2:

There are a wide variety of roles available in the Early Childhood Sector. Some of these include:

  • A Childcare Practitioner / Manager / Owner working in a sessional preschool or full day-care crèche
  • A Support and Development Officer in a City or County Childcare Committee
  • An Early Years Specialist (Quality Development) working directly with early years’ services helping to improve capacity to deliver high quality, inclusive early childhood care and education experiences for children and families
  • An Early Years Specialist (Access and Inclusion) supporting a range of diverse early years settings to assist them in enabling inclusive practice and the optimal participation of a child with disability in the preschool room
  • An Early Years Inspector (at the Department of Education and Skills) evaluating, advising, supporting and reporting to improve the quality of provision in Early Childhood Care and Education settings
  • An Early Years Siolta Coordinator providing assessment, mentoring, training and peer support to improve the quality of the services provided in Early Years Services such as crèches and preschools
  • An Entrepreneur developing a business idea
  • Work in other areas of Early Childhood such as policy development or as a researcher.

Please find information on fees and funding here:

Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements:

Six Grades at O6 or H7 in Leaving Certificate including:

  • At least two H5 Grades
  • AND Mathematics Grade O6 or H7
  • AND English Grade O6 or H7 OR Irish Grade O6 or H7
  • PLUS Minimum Points Score of 300.

Northern Ireland/UK Entry Requirements:

Applicants must meet the matriculation requirement of 6 different subjects which must include: 

  • Mathematics at GCSE (Grade A* - C) or better
  • English (or Irish) at GCSE (Grade A* - C) or better
  • Two subjects at either:
        • ‘A Level’ (Grade A* - C)
        • AND/OR Applied A-Level (Grade A* - C)
        • AND/OR BTEC National Level 3 (National Award, Subsidiary Diploma, Extended Certificate, 90-Credit Diploma, Foundation Diploma) (Grade Merit or Distinction).
        • AND/OR OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 (Introductory Diploma, Extended Certificate, Subsidiary Diploma, Foundation Diploma, 90-Credit Diploma) (Grade Merit or Distinction)
        • OR BTEC National Level 3 Diploma (Grade min: MM)
        • OR OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (Grade min: MM)
        • OR BTEC National Level 3 Extended Diploma (Grade min: MMP)
  • The remaining subjects must be different from that presented above and may be drawn from recognised subjects at:
        • GCSE (Grade A* - C)
        • AND/OR AS Level’ (Grades A - E)
        • AND/OR A-level’ (Grades A* - E)
        • AND/OR Applied ‘A-level’ (Grade A* - E)
        • AND/OR BTEC National Level 3 (National Award, Subsidiary Diploma, Extended Certificate, 90-Credit Diploma, Foundation Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma*) (Pass, Merit or Distinction).
        • AND/OR OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 (Introductory Diploma, Extended Certificate, Subsidiary Diploma, Foundation Diploma, 90-Credit Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma*) (Pass, Merit or Distinction).
  • And a minimum score of 300 points

PLEASE NOTE: Because of the work placement on this course, applicants must successfully pass Garda/Police vetting for all jurisdictions where the student was/is resident.

Mature Applicants: Minimum of 23 years of age on 1st January of year of application. Find out more information here

Students are required to attend work placements in each stage of the course.

  • In first year, the placement is with typically developing children in full day-care
  • In second year, the placement will be with children who have special needs
  • In third year, the student can choose a specialist placement of particular interest. This may be an international placement.
  • In fourth year, the student group set up, manage and run a parent & baby group in the college.


Mary McSkeane (Programme Director)
Phone: +353 429370200 Ext 2798

Unique Features of This Course

  • Professional Practice Placement in each of the four years
  • Focus on inclusive practice including working with children with special needs
  • Opportunity to undertake a specialised Professional Practice Placement abroad
  • Student development and management of an on-site Parent and Toddler group
Course ID DK876
Level 8
Duration 4 Years
Points 316
Places 25
School School of Health & Science
Department Nursing, Midwifery and Early Years
Awarding Body Dundalk Institute of Technology
Apply to CAO

How to Apply

All applications for this course must be made directly to the CAO by using the course ID

Apply On

Northern Ireland & UK

Applicants from Northern Ireland/UK must also apply through CAO. Find out more information about
applying to DkIT from Northern Ireland or the UK.

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